June 21, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

KOAT recently reported that Joey Maes was convicted of one count of aggravated burglary and one count of aggravated battery for biting off a man’s nose. The charges stem from an incident when Maes was asked to leave a party he had been attending. Maes returned soon after leaving, kicked in the front door of the home, ran into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and began threatening the occupants. When one man tried to take control of Maes’ knife, Maes bit the end of the man’s nose off. At his sentencing hearing, Maes was ordered to serve 10 years in a New Mexico State Penitentiary.

While in most states battery is a misdemeanor, aggravated battery is a felony. Aggravated battery is the act of beating and using intense force against somebody with serious consequences. It may or may not include the use of a weapon. Under California Penal Code (CPC) Section 243 (a) a battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both.

However, when a battery is committed against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on that person, the battery is punishable as a wobbler. This means that, depending on the circumstances of the case and your criminal history, the crime may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony by either imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years (See CPC Section 243 (d)). If the battery is charged as a felony because the victim suffers a great bodily injury, it will be labeled a violent felony.

Under CPC 459 there are two types of burglary. A burglary committed in someone’s home is considered first-degree burglary, which is always a felony. All other types of burglary are considered to be second degree and defined as entering a building, vehicle, vessel or cargo container with the intention of either stealing property or committing a felony. Under the law, the state does not need to prove that you succeeded in your act; it must only prove your intent.

If you are found guilty of an aggravated battery or burglary, you will be subjected to a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law. If you have a prior strike, be aware that if at anytime in your life you are convicted of a new felony, your potential sentence may be doubled by the court. It is important to consult with Wallin and Klarich, an experienced criminal defense law firm, to determine the consequences of a strike conviction.

Aggravated battery and burglary can both be prosecuted as a felony. If you or a loved one is accused of either of these felonies it is essential to retain an experienced California defense attorney at Wallin and Klarich so we can aggressively defend you from these serious charges. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience taking on cases just like yours. We will look at the particular facts of your case to determine the best defense strategy available. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be here when you call.

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